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Visit Kent figures show Canterbury Cathedral and Port Lympne are in Kent's top ten attractions

By Josie Hannett

It's no secret that the county has some first class attractions fit for both tourists and residents.

But with so many on offer, we've made a list of the top ten tourist hot spots.

The list was compiled by Visit Kent, based on visitor numbers from August 2014 to August 2015.

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral

The Cathedral has attracted visitors in their thousands ever since Thomas Becket was murdered there.

With beautiful stain-glass windows bursting with history, it's no surprise it's made the list.

Leeds Castle, near Maidstone
Leeds Castle, near Maidstone

Leeds Castle

The castle was once used by royals including Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

It has 500 acres of parkland and formal gardens, with daily activities, including free flying falconry displays.

Turner Contemporary on Margate seafront
Turner Contemporary on Margate seafront

Turner Contemporary

A location perfect for art buffs, the Turner Contemporary has stunning views of Margate's seafront and holds some of the most cultured pieces made by Kent's home grown talent.

Dover Castle will host the BBC's Flog It
Dover Castle will host the BBC's Flog It

One of the most iconic fortresses in England, Dover Castle is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

Enriched in history, the Secret Wartime Tunnels recently opened to the public, showing Winston Churchill's method of defence.

Hever Castle, near Edenbridge
Hever Castle, near Edenbridge

Hever Castle and Gardens

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle is in the top ten attractions, with its Italian garden where more than 1,000 men worked on its grand design.

Features around the garden include the Half Moon Pond, the Cascade, and the cool and shady grottoes.

Chartwell House. Picture: Jim Bell
Chartwell House. Picture: Jim Bell

Another family home of a famous figure, Chartwell was where Winston Churchill drew inspiration from 1924 till the end of his life.

A popular tourist attraction, the rooms remain similar to how they were when he lived there, with pictures books and personal items on show.

See some new arrivals this Easter holidays at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury
See some new arrivals this Easter holidays at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury

Howletts Wild Animal Park

Howletts gives visitors the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most rare and endangered animals.

There are more than 400 animals of 50 different species.

Sissinghurst Castle
Sissinghurst Castle

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

Owned by the National Trust, Sissinghurst Castle Garden was formerly a prison in the 1700s.

The historic building and gardens is visited by many who enjoy its architecture.

Port Lympne, near Hythe
Port Lympne, near Hythe

Port Lympne Reserve

Another animal park which has made it into the top 10 Kent attractions, Port Lympne boasts a safari experience like no other, with visitors able to catch a glimpse of some stunning wild animals, including giraffes and elephants.

A Royal Naval ship at Chatham Historic Dockyard
A Royal Naval ship at Chatham Historic Dockyard

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

With celebrity visitors including Kanye West and the cast of Suffragette, it's no wonder the Historic Dockyard is a hit with tourists and Kent residents.

Oozing history from ever corner, the dockyard played a vital role in supporting the Royal Navy for more than 400 years.

A Visit Kent spokesman, said: “There is so much to see and do in the county, it is staggering.

"Our larger and most famous attractions are a huge draw not just because of their fame but also because of the high quality experience they offer visitors.

"Equally, we have so many smaller attractions that visitors flock to again and again, not to mention the simple wonder of our beautiful coastline, incredible rural scenery and beautiful towns and cities.

"We encourage Kent residents to be tourists for the day, and explore some of the wonderful things to see and do right on their doorstep!”

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